marriage. the academy

chris writes about the soldiers.

he smears their newsprint faces with

anxious fingers as he fashions

a meaningful phrase, erupts into

theoretical wrangling, the tangible

art of crafting history keeping him

up past the expiration date on all

the light bulbs in the house.

every so often, a rougher voice

escapes, talks about the way

the rain felt in khe sanh, the way

the sky looked in kuwait city, the way

the mountains felt like burning

sentient gods in kandahar

but chris quiets it, stuffs it back amongst

the weedy gardens of unimportant references-

he has no shame when he speaks,

because he has great distance

and katie warns him that one day

all the high-wire suppositions will

come flocking home, roost where

productivity rears its deceptive beauty-

chris does not mind

he does not consider himself

an optimist.

katie saves the newspapers,

so real and crumbling with time,

the real tract-marks of history

laid out in a basement drawer,

burrow for spiders and the flooded

damp of spring. katie takes the

children out for the afternoon

and when they are playing overhead

flies a low-gray jet plane, the hydraulic

roar pushing a narrow breadth of atmosphere

aside, rushing beyond visual speed and

bound somewhere without words

to keep it whole.

when chris comes home, they tell him

about the airplane. chris smiles. History

is a myth always in danger of coming true.